New Survey Finds Social Media is a Major Influence on Elective Surgery
Study Shows Increased Physical Self Awareness Stemming From The Social Media
WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2013
WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Social media is leading consumers to
have a more self-critical eye, according to a new survey by the American
Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS). The annual poll
of 752 of the organization's board-certified facial plastic surgeons found
that there was a 31% increase in requests for surgery as a result of social
media photo sharing.
The study shows that a growing number of procedures are cosmetic versus
reconstructive in nature, accounting for 73% of all procedures in 2012, up
from 62% in 2011. Of the procedures requested as a result of social media
influence, rhinoplasty, BOTOX®, and facelifts topped the list.
While social media continues to play an increasingly large role in how
consumers view themselves, its influence as a trusted informational resource
for plastic surgery is diminishing. Last year just 7% of prospective patients
used social media to research doctors and procedures, down from 35% in 2011.
Instead, 57% got their information about plastic surgery online, with 33%
relying on referrals.
"Patients are becoming increasingly more sophisticated in their knowledge of
plastic surgery due to the obvious increases in online research and
validations," said Ed Williams, MD, Group Vice President for Public and
Regulatory Affairs for the American Academy of Facial Plastic and
Reconstructive Surgery."Our members are seeing a much more educated consumer
base than ever before, thanks to the increased availability of information."
TRUST YOUR FACE TO A FACIAL PLASTIC SURGEON
No matter how consumers select their facial plastic surgeon, the AAFPRS warns
to be wary of discount deals online offering reduced rates on surgery and
injectables. Three quarters of AAFPRS members caution consumers to stay away
from these deals, citing them as potentially unethical and inappropriate
without prior evaluation and consultation from a licensed healthcare
"While it may be tempting to get a discount on aesthetic procedures, we
encourage patients to exercise caution with blindly purchasing online deals."
said Robert M. Kellman, MD, President of the American Academy of Facial
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. "To ensure the best results, you want to
select a board-certified surgeon who specializes in plastic surgery of the
face, head and neck."
A key question to ask your potential facial plastic surgeon is how many times
he or she performs a given procedure. "Think of finding the right surgeon as a
job interview," said Dr. Kellman, "and come prepared with a list of questions
that will help you determine his/her qualifications, training and experience
in performing those specific procedures."
RESURGENCE OF SURGICAL PROCEDURES
Non-surgical treatments made up two-thirds of all cosmetic procedures
requested in 2012. While they are still popular for their ability to delay
signs of aging with minimally invasive measures, the number of non-surgical
procedures performed was down last year. The most common cosmetic non-surgical
procedures remain BOTOX® and hyaluronic acid fillers, with the top three areas
of the face most treated by injectables being the forehead (42%), cheeks (35%)
and the lips (18%).
Conversely, requests for surgical procedures are on the rise, with
rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty and facelifts being the most requested in 2012.
Among all procedures, the largest increase was among requests for facelifts
and blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), while lip augmentation and calcium
hydroxyapatite injections showed the greatest declines.
MEN EMBRACE NON-INVASIVE PROCEDURES
The number of men undergoing facial plastic surgery continues to rise, and the
AAFPRS survey suggests there's no sign of slowing down. With more patients
citing the need to remain competitive in the workforce as a determining factor
in the decision to have surgery, men are turning to non-invasive procedures to
retain their professional edge.
"More and more men opt to have cosmetic procedures," said Dr. Kellman. "Men
often turn to aesthetic treatments to remain competitive in the work force,
keep up with their partners or if they are single, stay in the dating game."
Notably, the number of men having BOTOX® was up 27% from 2011, with hyaluronic
acid fillers and microdermabrasion also among the most popular maintenance
The AAFPRS study also shows that men are more likely to request plastic
surgery as a result of their significant other also undergoing cosmetic
surgery, with 20% of all male patients being influenced by a partner's
decision. Rhinoplasty remains the most requested surgical procedure overall
WOMEN STRENGTHEN BONDS THROUGH SURGERY
Women continue to be the most likely candidates for facial plastic surgery,
accounting for 80% of all surgical as well as non-surgical procedures last
year. Of this group, two-thirds of women having procedures are mothers,
primarily in their 40's and 50's. AAFPRS members have seen an uptick in female
family procedures as a bonding experience, with a 16% increase in
mother-daughter procedures and a 12% increase in sister-sister procedures.
In 2012 the most common cosmetic surgical procedure for women was facelifts,
followed by blepharoplasty, and rhinoplasty. The most common non-surgical
cosmetic procedures among women were BOTOX®, hyaluronic acid injections and
IMPACT OF AGE GROUP & ETHNICITY
The face of plastic surgery is getting younger thanks to the availability of
more minimally invasive procedures and growing social acceptance. In 2012, 28%
of AAFPRS members saw an increase in cosmetic surgery and facial injectables
in those under the age of 25. For children and teens, the survey found that
they are more likely to have plastic surgery as a result of being bullied
(76%) versus a way to prevent bullying (24%).
For both female and male patients under the age of 35, the most common
procedure performed was rhinoplasty (53% females; 70% males), followed by
BOTOX® (30% women; 13% men). For all procedures, except rhinoplasty, the
majority were performed on patients between the ages of 35 and 60.
Ten percent of AAFPRS surgeons have seen an increase among Hispanic, Asian
American and African American patients in their practice in 2012, with the
largest increase of 40% among Caucasian patients.
When compared to the other facial cosmetic procedures offered, the 2012 survey
revealed that African Americans and Hispanics were most predisposed to have
received rhinoplasty (80% and 65% respectively). Asian Americans were most
likely to have blepharoplasty (44%) or rhinoplasty (41%), while Caucasians
were more likely to have facelifts (40%) or rhinoplasty (39%).
Plastic surgery continues to advance due to new technology and improved
techniques, attracting more consumers than ever before.
The top trend AAFPRS members have identified is that consumers are more
educated about plastic surgery. A more educated consumer base is leading to
the further decline in requests for celebrity procedures (down to only 7%),
with 53% of patients instead asking for a procedure by area of concern and 28%
asking for it by name.
When considering surgery, most patients were primarily concerned with the
results (40%), followed by cost (33%) and recovery time (21%), with
pain/invasiveness and social perception playing a very small role in their
Milestone events were also a driving factor, and aside from weddings, which
hold the number one spot, high school reunions topped the charts as the event
most likely to be an impetus for surgery.
ABOUT THE AAFPRS:
The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is the
world's largest specialty association for facial plastic surgery. It
represents more than 2,700 facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons
throughout the world. The AAFPRS is a National Medical Specialty Society of
the American Medical Association (AMA), and holds an official seat in both the
AMA House of Delegates and the American College of Surgeons board of
governors. AAFPRS members are board certified surgeons whose focus is surgery
of the face, head, and neck. AAFPRS members subscribe to a code of ethics. In
addition, the AAFPRS provides consumers with free information and brochures
and a list of qualified facial plastic surgeons in any area by visiting the
AAFPRS web site, www.facemd.org.
BOTOX® is a registered trademark owned by Allergan, Inc.
SOURCE The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Contact: Patty Mathews, Melissa Kelz Communications, +1-646-450-5359,
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